15 September 2013

It's that Time of Year

Yesterday was the first day of ricing and the first day for me in a couple years.  My son and I went out on the lake, late.  Came in early.  Wweell,  the correct time as we thought it was.  Turns out, we could have made one more pass.  Not sure if we'd have been able to make it in though.  We landed at a different landing from the one we shoved off from.

Got to the lake and thought, "My camera."  It was safely at home, waiting to be charged.  After we made it to the rice beds, was wishing I had it still.  The heads were the emptiest I've ever seen them on a first day.  Why?  Because one of the hazards of waiting for the rice to ripen is the weather.

Sure enough, we had a wind/rain/hail storm last week.  75% of the rice was lost to the Thunder Spirits.  Guess they were hungry.  At any rate, all we'll get is eating rice.  And my family needs it this year.  No one went on the lake last year, from my family.  Some years are like that now.  If you get the chance, go on the lake as much as you can.  Eating rice is one of the many pleasures for us.  And now, we'll have to work twice as hard to get what we can.

Sure am glad it's not the old days.  The days when we needed that rice to survive the winter.  Growing up in the sixties was as close to the old days as I want to get.  We were able to keep food on the table.  My parents, and grandparents, I should say.  Though us kids picked berries and such.  Couldn't go on the lake til we were older, 13, 14.  Had to be able to handle a canoe in windy weather.  Such as yesterday.

Sure was glad my son was with me.  We started back for the landing and made it to the island.  Then came the last open water.  And the waves weren't quite white caps; I did see a couple here and there.  Halfway across, my son starts encouraging me.

"There comes a big one."

"Here comes another one."


"Holy cow, wind.  Calm down.  We're getting off the lake."

That helped me get the rest of the way in.  That little smile he put on my face was great.  The lake did calm down a bit, enough for us to get to the weeds, reed line.  The wind picked up again when we were on shore.  Another canoe landed just ahead of us.  Wonder if they didn't read the latest bulletin on the page on that "other" site.  The one telling us the hours had been changed.  Well, he should be here in a couple minutes.  Must get ready for the big decision- go out on the lake, or stay on shore.

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